Strictly X Factor
On the 1900hrs ranking this Saturday night, the first of the Barcelona World Race it is time to settle down into ocean racing routine. The Mediterranean is done and dusted, a record in the bag for Hugo Boss, and the top three are in good shape, all within three miles of one another.
Now it is Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz, who have taken the overall lead. That is the theory though, because once again the proximity to the rhumb line is the key and they are closest to the direct route. Meanwhile Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes are drag racing alongside Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam. Remember that theirs is the Farr design which was previously Mare which has had the bow section modified to add more volume. Hugo Boss are one knot quicker this evening
GAES Centros Auditivos are fourth - actually some 60 miles astern of the leading duo who will carry on getting west while they have decent breeze.
For the leaders then this is where big ocean racing takes over. Tonight it will be feeling more like a Round the World Race. The duos live in their bubble, take each hour as it passes, look to each schedule report for their gains and losses, and the level of focus means they will rarely drift off message, but you can be sure there will be moments when thoughts momentarily drift off and turn to the enormity of what is ahead of them.
Meantime the seventh boat to break into the Atlantic is the Garcia brothers, Bruno and Willy on We Are Water, at 1850hrs TU so nearly 24 hours exactly after Hugo Boss.
If you are interested in strategy and weather features descending the Atlantic see this